Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman has said that he is ready to prioritize national duty over playing in the IPL. Rajasthan Royals bought the 25-year-old at the latest auction for ₹1 crore.
Bangladesh are expected to tour Sri Lanka in April for a two-match Test series. The official dates for the IPL are yet to be declared, but the tournament is likely to clash with the Test series.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board had made it clear that they would provide NOC to any player wanting to play in the IPL. Shakib Al Hasan, who will turn out for the Kolkata Knight Riders, was recently permitted to skip the Sri Lanka tour to be part of the cash-rich T20 tournament.
However, Mustafizur Rahman insisted that he is willing to skip the upcoming IPL in favor of representing Bangladesh.
"I will do what BCB asks me to do. If they keep me in the Test squad (for the tour of Sri Lanka), then I will play Tests, and if they (BCB) don't keep me in Test, then they know what I should do. My first priority is to play for my country, and if I am picked in the Test series against Sri Lanka, I will naturally play. If I am not picked then, BCB will tell me that I am not included. At that point, if I am given NOC to play in the IPL, then I will play, but patriotism comes first for me," Mustafizur told reporters on Tuesday.
The Sri Lanka-Bangladesh series will be part of the ICC World Test Championship. Bangladesh are the only team yet to register a win in the tournament. They will be keen to bounce back following their humbling defeat at the hands of West Indies in a closely-fought Test series.
Mustafizur Rahman's numbers for Bangladesh
Mustafizur Rahman is primarily seen as a limited-overs bowler for Bangladesh. Since making his debut in 2015, the left-arm seamer has played only 14 Tests, picking up 30 wickers.
In contrast, his white-ball record is more impressive, claiming 115 wickets in 61 ODIs at a strike rate of 26.1, including 5 five-wicket hauls. In T20Is, Rahman has taken 58 wickets in 41 matches at an economy of 7.93.